The Last Confession by Regina Mhairi

November 27, 2015 Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Last Confession by Regina MhairiThe Last Confession by Regina Mhairi
Published by Amazon Digital Services on April 5, 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Pages: 228
Source: the Author
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Paris, 1663

Mentored in the enchanting world of the courtesans, beautiful, intelligent and outspoken Catalina Cosme has her pick of any man the city offers. But no man has ever captured her interest…until she lays eyes on Father Benedict Mortimer. Determined to prove that even holy men can fall, Benedict becomes her greatest challenge yet.

The former pupil of a grand inquisitor, Roman Catholic Priest Father Benedict Mortimer was once the worst sort of libertine before he became a ruthless speaker of The Church. Now he is a man haunted by the horrifying sins of his past. After reading the memoirs he wrote during his years in the seminary, Catalina never imagined the condemnatory author was that self-same kindhearted priest whom she sought refuge with when she escaped an abusive benefactor.

As their unlikely friendship forms, Catalina’s aim for seduction begins to fade, and the love she was never allowed to experience blossoms for the man beneath the cloth.

Although Benedict offers to be her new and anonymous patron, he denies himself the temptation of claiming her body in exchange. But desire may prove to be stronger than resilience, and the salvation he believes he had long ago lost may be closer than he realizes.

This book almost begins to straddle the line between historical romance and literary prose.  It’s deep, exploring taboo and sometimes uncomfortable issues.  Neither the hero nor the heroine is an ideal historical romance character, but from this ‘failure’ comes the very story the author is trying to tell – people are not defined by the labels society gives them or those they give themselves, but rather they are defined by the strength of their character, their conviction, and ability to embrace the love they deserve.

Catalina was frustrating at first.  She made little to no effort to escape her physically abusive benefactor.  Moreover, her initial attempts to seduce Father Benedict came from a place of manipulation and spite.  But in a beautiful and poignant character arc, Catalina develops true feelings for the priest and her quest to cause Father Benedict’s downfall morphs into a real desire to see him succeed and to connect with him on a intellectual and spiritual level.

Father Benedict was a more compelling and likable character.  He struggles to resist his desire for Catalina and maintain his priests’ vows.  Her presence in his life stirs up old memories he’d rather forget and it is through these memories we learn about the former libertine-turned-holy-father.

Together, Catalina and Benedict are able to forge a new path.  Their love and devotion to one another is fascinating because it is forbidden and taboo.  There are lots of emotional surprises in this novel and the author does a fantastic job of weaving lots of historical details into the narrative.  I look forward to reading more novels by Ms. Mhairi.

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The Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn by Mia Marlowe

November 24, 2015 Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn by Mia MarloweThe Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn by Mia Marlowe
Series: Order of the M.U.S.E. #3
Published by Entangled Publishing on November 23, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 318
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Meg Anthony was never raised a lady. Instead, she grew up amongst grifters who used her unique “finding” ability for their own selfish purposes. Recently, she's been taken under the wing of the Duke of Camden and the Order of M.U.S.E., learning not only the fine art of becoming a lady, but how to use her extraordinary talent to help others.

But Meg's gift is a beacon to unsavory characters who would possess her.

Charged with her protection, Lord Badewyn knows—too well—that his wild, Welsh castle is no safe haven for this lovely, all-too-desirable creature. Part human, part fallen angel, he is one of the Nephilim. He is a recluse sworn never to love. As the dangers to Meg grow more threatening, he cannot help but find himself tempted beyond all reason...and tested to see if he has both a heart and a soul.

Another fantastic installment in the Order of the M.U.S.E. series!  In this book, Meg Anthony – a supernaturally-gifted finder of lost things – is introduced to Lord Samuel Badewyn, an intelligent recluse who cares more for what is found amongst the stars and heavenly bodies than the physical bodies of humans.  Lord Badewyn is only half human, the son of a fallen angel and the human he fell in love with.  Now he eschews human interaction for fear of what his father will do – every time one of his father’s sons marry, Sam’s father seduces and impregnates the wife who later dies in childbirth.  It is this deceit that keeps Sam and Meg apart for much of the story.  Sam cares too much for Meg’s life to endanger it by marrying her.  Of course, Meg’s determination, feisty nature, and inability to act like a proper lady – once a bemoaned curse – helps brings these lovers together (and provide some much needed comedic relief too).

Other characters are equally compelling and fans of this series will recognize some familiar faces from previous books.  I’ve been interested in learning Meg’s story since the first novel and now we finally get it.

As with the other Order of the M.U.S.E. books, there is mystery, suspense, and paranormal doings interspersed throughout this entertaining regency romance.  If you enjoy a dash of paranormal in your romances, please check out this entire series!  This particular novel can be read as a standalone as the author does an excellent job of explaining just enough of the necessary elements for new readers to understand what’s going on without needing to read the other novels in the series.

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Rise of the Defender by Kathryn Le Veque

November 20, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★

Rise of the Defender by Kathryn Le VequeRise of the Defender by Kathryn Le Veque
Series: de Lohr Dynasty #1
Published by Dragonblade Publishing on January 26, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
four-stars
1192 A.D. – Sir Christopher de Lohr is Richard the Lion Heart’s champion, a man that the Muslims nicknamed “The Lion’s Claw”. Blond, battle-scarred and powerful, he is what all men fear. After the fall of Acre, Christopher makes a promise at the deathbed of a dying comrade to marry the man’s incorrigible but wealthy daughter. Christopher returns home to marry the woman, but the only thing is interested in is her substantial dowry. He has no use for a wife and resents being forced into the marriage.

The Lady Dustin Barrington doesn’t want a husband. Petite and beautiful, she is a goddess with the heart of a tomboy. When the enormous, seasoned warrior comes to Lioncross Abbey Castle to marry her, she savagely resists him. More than ever, Christopher regrets agreeing to marry the woman but as they are forced together in a contract marriage, something strange happens… somehow, someway, the animosity subsides and a gentle warmth takes its place. More and more, they come to care for one another but neither of them will admit it.

As the voyage of discovery begins, Christopher is distracted by a very important task entrusted to him by Richard. He has been sent back to England ahead of King Richard to assess the climate of the country and also to assess the activities of Richard’s brother, Prince John. He leaves for London to put himself in the heart of the turmoil that is going on between Richard and John, and brings Dustin with him. The moment they arrive in London, an entirely new and dangerous world opens up to them.

Join Dustin and Christopher as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Evil princes, tournaments, politics, wars, and a threat to their relationship from deep inside Christopher’s inner circle invade their loving and passionate world. When Christopher is reportedly killed in battle, Dustin must pick up the pieces of her shattered life and attempt to carry on. But don’t count the Defender out just yet… can he make it back to Dustin in time to prevent catastrophe?

Become a part of the sweeping three- part saga in an epic Medieval Romance you won’t soon forget.

Oh my goodness, where on earth do I begin?  This is truly an epic historical romance/historical fiction.  The book is incredibly long and so much happens that it is difficult to craft an adequate summary.

Set during the Crusades of Richard the Lionheart, this epic novel explores the lives and love(s) of Lady Dustin Barrington  and Sir Christopher De Lohr.  Beginning with an unwanted arranged marriage, Dustin and Christopher begin to drop their mutual animosity and come to care for each other.  Christopher is not adjusting well to life off the battlefield, especially when King Richard commands he stay put and spy on the local gentry.  Similarly, Dustin has never had to answer to man and is not adjusting easily into her new life.  Death follows Christopher from the battlefield into his new home with Dustin at Lioncross Abbey and soon Christopher and Dustin are forced to London and become embroiled in a deadly battle of wits with the King’s evil brother, Prince John.

Christopher is a battle-hardened warrior.  At first he is brutish, callous, and full of raging testosterone.  I didn’t expect to like him.  But he softens around Dustin and readers discover he is honorable, loyal, and absolutely devoted to his beautiful, enchanting wife.

Dustin is a beautiful woman who has the personality of a tomboy.  She has no problem running, jumping, climbing trees, and generally getting into mischief, but also knows when to turn on the ladylike charm in order to get her way.  While she does mature as the novel progresses, there are times I wanted to shake her for her stupidity.  Honestly, she is the reason this did not get a 5-star review.

This novel will turn you into an emotional wreck.  It’s a constant roller coaster between laughter, tears, disgust, fear, loathing, love, and yes even sometime confusion.  There were portions that had me transfixed to the audiobook, eager to find out what happened next, enthralled in the passionate love scenes, or sitting in shocked disbelief in what had just transpired. There were a few points where I wanted to stop listening because of things that happened in the book (it’s like a soap opera really), but I am so, so glad I continued.  Give this one a try!!

 

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Trapped by Scandal by Jane Feather

November 17, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 DNF

Trapped by Scandal by Jane FeatherTrapped by Scandal by Jane Feather
Series: Trapped #2
Published by Pocket Books on June 23, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
DNF
Lady Hero Fanshawe has chafed at society’s dictates since the death of her fiancé taught her that joy can be fleeting. When her brother disappears in Paris at the height of the Terror, she has no hesitation in disguising herself as a boy and risking her life to find him—or in joining forces with a chance-met ally, the enigmatic William Ducasse, Viscount St. Aubrey. And she has no regrets in indulging in a passionate affair with the dangerously handsome stranger, in the shadow of the guillotine…

Half French, half English, William is committed to his shadow life, flirting with death to rescue imperiled aristocrats. Marriage is an indulgence he cannot afford. Once Hero returns to London, he refuses to risk her good name by continuing their liaison. But he has reckoned without the determined Hero’s disregard for propriety…or the dictates of his own heart.

This book was my first “DNF – Did Not Finish” book since beginning this blog over a year ago.  The premise was fascinating – a spunky heroine, a dashing hero, and a daring rescue attempt from the clutches of Madame Guillotine at the height of the French Revolution.  Unfortunately, the execution was dry, boring, and generally unappealing.

I finally quit at approximately the 75-80% point.  The hero is cold and treats the heroine like disposable waste.  Even as late as the 75% mark, he tells the heroine that he doesn’t want her anywhere near him and demands she leave immediately.  And this is supposed to be a romance novel!?  There isn’t any romance to speak of!  The hero and heroine have no chemistry together at all and their supposed “grand passion” feels forced and unnatural.  I simply didn’t understand what Hermione saw in William, but then again I didn’t connect with Hermione’s character so I didn’t care.  She started off spunky, but quickly crossed the line into completely unrealistic.  This is supposed to be a regency romance and with that comes certain expectations.  I understand that marriage may not be the end game for all heroines, but that’s usually the end result.  Yet at one point in this novel (again, fairly close to the 75% mark) Hermione visits William and demands they begin their sexual relationship once again without the benefit of marriage.  For a woman of the regency era, this thought pattern and behavior is completely and utterly out of character, time, and place.  I like heroines who push boundaries, but do not like or appreciate when those boundaries are completely tossed over for what is clearly twenty-first century thinking.

Ultimately, I quit because I was so incredibly bored and unconnected to the characters.  Skip it.

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A Scoundrel by Moonlight by Anna Campbell

November 13, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★½

A Scoundrel by Moonlight by Anna CampbellA Scoundrel by Moonlight by Anna Campbell
Series: Sons of Sin #4
Published by Forever on April 28, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Anything can happen in the moonlight . . .

Justice. That's all Nell Trim wants-for her sister and for the countless other young women the Marquess of Leath has ruined with his wildly seductive ways. Now she has a bold plan to take him down . . . as long as she can resist the scoundrel's temptations herself.

From the moment Nell meets James Fairbrother, the air positively sizzles. Yet for all his size and power, there's something amazingly tender in his touch. Could he really be such a depraved rogue? The only way to find out is to beat the devil at his own game . . . one tempting kiss at a time.

After the death of her sister at the hands of the villainous Marquess of Leath, Eleanor Trim vows she will find the wretch who spoiled her sister and make him pay.  She takes a position in the Marquess’ household where she can find the evidence necessary to destroy him.  Over the past few months, James Fairbrother has been inundated with letters and pleas from women across the country begging for assistance in raising the children “he” left behind.  In fact, it was his dastardly Uncle Neville using his name to seduce and abandon these women.  And now James is being blackmailed by Uncle Neville’s partner-in-crime to keep the scandal a secret.  James can’t risk another scandal attached to his family, but his search for his uncle’s evil partner is derailed by the enchanting Miss Trim.  He doesn’t quite trust her, but neither can he seem to get her out of his mind.

I loved the banter between James and Eleanor!  These two were matched wit-for-wit and it was so much fun to read them going back and forth at each other as they slowly but surely fell in love.  Eleanor must struggle with her growing attraction to the man she believed seduced and ruined her sister, yet when she finally decides to give in, she really goes for it!  Eleanor doesn’t do anything by half measures.  When she gets an idea in her head, it’s full steam forward until her goal is accomplished.  Likewise, James has political aspirations, so he works tirelessly to see his achievements through.  And though he’s been as straight-laced as Eleanor’s corset, he too must bend to desire to pursue his growing love for the engaging Miss Trim.

Towards the end, I did begin to feel like Eleanor’s protests were becoming illogical and repetitive and her reaction to finding the letters a slight over-reaction given James and Eleanor’s history, but alls well that ends well and this book left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

Fans of the series will also appreciate cameos from previous heroes and heroines, though you do not need to read the previous books to fully enjoy this one.

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You Might Be A True Gentleman/Gentlelady If…

November 9, 2015 Uncategorized 0

“You Might Be A True Gentleman or Gentlewoman If…” by Grace Burrowes

 

How do you know if your Sig-O is a true gentleman/lady? Ask yourself a few questions…

 

First, do his or her best moves, smoothest lines, and cleverest flirtations only come out in public, or are the housework sessions equally likely to produce the verbal roses and melting glances from across the laundry pile?

 

The hallmark of a player is that their repertoire is best displayed when there’s an audience to play to. The true gentleman or lady isn’t playing, so the good stuff can come your way any old day or night of the week.

 

Second, does he or she deliver the fun and flirtation in you statements (“You look good in anything… and in nothing at all.”) Do they keep to the I-statements when the topic is difficult? (“I can come off irritated any time we talk about money because I’m afraid I’m not pulling my share of the load. I don’t mean to sound that way, and I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.”)

 

The guy or gal who lapses into the you-always, and you-never accusations in the middle of a difficult conversation hasn’t learned to fight fair. Time to whip out a few remedial lessons from the relationship Code Duello, or find another waltzing partner.

 

Third, does he or she have the touch? Always respectful in public—even when respectfully affectionate—always cool with your respectful affections too?

 

The ladies and gents who treasure us the most know better than to cross that line, and we treasure them right back for their gallant attentions.

 

Fourth, do they listen to us? We’ve all had the experience of being on a date or in a discussion, and the person we’re with has checked out. They’re eying the door, the clock, their cool new app, or if there’s a mirror on hand (store window, shiny plate, mirror app), themselves. Um… that would be a no.

 

Fifth, are they honorable? Do they give you the sense that at all times, the person you’re with will be guided by kindness and honesty, even when neither is convenient for them? If that’s the consistent vibe—truth and compassion as their defining values—you are in the company of a true lady or a true gentleman.

 

Here’s the best part: True ladies and true gentlemen tend to be discerning people, for all they are also gracious, kind, honest, and excellent company. If you’ve found a true lady or gentleman for your very own, and they reciprocate your regard, chances are they have found a true lady or gentleman in you too!

 

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 Daniels True DesireBook Information

Title: Daniel’s True Desire

Author: Grace Burrowes

Release Date: November 3, 2015

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

 

Summary

An honorable life
Daniel Banks is a man of the cloth whose vocation is the last comfort he has left-and even his churchman’s collar is beginning to feel like a noose. At the urging of family, Daniel attempts to start his life over as vicar in the sleepy Kentish town of Haddondale, family seat to the earls of Bellefonte.

Challenged by passion
Lady Kirsten Haddonfield has resigned herself to a life of spinsterhood. Then the handsome new village vicar, Reverend Daniel Banks, becomes a guest of the Haddonfield family while the vicarage is being renovated, and Kirsten finds herself rethinking her position. Lady Kirsten does not know that Daniel’s past is about to cast a shadow on love’s future.

 

Buy Links

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1R7I6Eg

Barnes and Noble – http://bit.ly/1L8mc22

iBooks – http://apple.co/1RDfSSt

 

Author BiographyGraceBurrowes

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://graceburrowes.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grace-Burrowes/115039058572197

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraceBurrowes

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4152482.Grace_Burrowes

 

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Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Marie Bradley

November 6, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Marie BradleyViking Warrior Rising by Asa Marie Bradley
Series: Viking Warriors #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on November 3, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki.

Under attack from Loki’s minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif’s warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn’t find her fast, he’s going to lose himself to permanent battle fury.

But Naya doesn’t want to be found...and he’ll do anything to find her. Because they’re both running out of time.

A strong start to what I’m sure will be a great series, VIKING WARRIOR RISING was a rollercoaster from start to finish.  Filled with fantasy and mythological elements such a Norse gods, Valkyries, and Berserkers, but also liberally peppered with science fiction too (Naya is a super-human thanks to genetic experimentation), this novel was difficult to categorize but a thoroughly entertaining read!  Moreover, there are still many questions to be answered in upcoming installments (I hope) in this series which will have readers coming back for more.

Naya Brisbane is a super-human.  She was captured and experimented on until her abilities outgrew those who held her captive.  It is these abilities that allow her to rescue Leif, King of the Beserkers and leader of the army sent by Odin to battle Loki’s minions on earth.  Once Leif recovers from the drug Loki’s minions used on him, instant attraction blooms between him and Naya.  But Leif and Naya have major (make that MAJOR) trust issues which make up most of the back-and-forth romance between the two lovers.

The romance isn’t really the focal point of this novel, however.  Sure, it plays an important role, but I felt as though much of the plot was devoted to the first stirrings of battle between Odin and Loki’s armies.  Regardless, I still very much enjoyed VIKING WARRIOR RISING and look forward to more novels in this series.  Can’t wait to see what happens next!

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Daniel’s True Desire by Grace Burrowes

November 3, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Daniel’s True Desire by Grace BurrowesDaniel's True Desire by Grace Burrowes
Series: True Gentlemen #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on November 3, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Daniel Banks is a man of the cloth whose vocation is the last comfort he has left–and even his churchman’s collar is beginning to feel like a noose. In an attempt to start his life over, Daniel accepts the post of vicar in Haddondale, a position supported by the Earl of Haddonfield. There Daniel meets Lady Kirsten Haddonfield, to whom life has also dealt multiple unkind blows. Daniel’s interest is piqued by Kirsten’s unsentimental attitude toward her misfortunes, and by the kind-heartedness the lady keeps well hidden. Kirsten is much taken with Mr. Banks and his genuine compassion for others, despite his own troubles. When Providence intervenes, and Daniel and Kirsten can become engaged, their happiness seems complete…. though every garden has at least one nasty, sly, determined serpent.

An engaging story about two people, beaten down by life, who upon meeting each other begin to feel just a little less lonely in this cruel world.  Kirsten is sharp-tongued and has resigned herself to spinsterhood because of it.  Daniel’s previous marriage wiped the vivacity and love of life right out of him.  It isn’t until Daniel’s sister inadvertently brings these two lost souls together that Daniel and Kirsten begin to find a spark of life left inside them.

Two broken betrothals has left Kirsten Haddonfield more than a little prickly towards others.  Her motto: brush them off first before they get too close to hurt you.  She is quick-witted and sharp-tongued, hardly the first pick for gentlemen at a ball.  Her situation is made worse by an impending visit to London for her sister’s come-out.  Meeting Daniel begins to soften Kirsten, but there is a dark secret Daniel keeps lying just below the surface that will put their love to the test.

When readers meet Daniel, he is beaten down and ready to give up on everything, even his profession as a clergyman – the one thing he once felt truly passionate about.  Yet it’s easy to sympathize with a hero who readers can easily see is still compassionate and kind.  A perfect match for the heroine!  Indeed, when Daniel and Kirsten meet, it’s like two halves of a whole coming together.  Each can see through the other’s mask of grouchiness and complacency to the true person hiding underneath.

Daniel’s secret (which I won’t give away here) brings a sense of urgency and bittersweetness to Daniel and Kirsten’s relationship and provides much of the physical and emotional tension.  An intense, but imminently satisfying read – I highly recommend checking out DANIEL’S TRUE DESIRE as well as any other book by the phenomenal Grace Burrowes!

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Miss Merton’s Last Hope by Heather Boyd

October 30, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Miss Merton’s Last Hope by Heather BoydMiss Merton's Last Hope by Heather Boyd
Series: Miss Mayhem #4
Published by LLD Press on October 13, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 130
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Over the years, Melanie Merton has used every trick and ruse to repel overeager gentlemen callers without ever revealing the real reason she won’t say yes to an offer of marriage. When neighbor Walter George jumps to her defense against slurs cast by suitor number twelve, he also pries into her past—uncovering the circumstances around a tragic loss in her childhood and her aversion to being touched by anyone. But even protective Walter must be kept at a distance for his own good, because despite a growing attraction between them, Melanie must deny him too.

Unlike other men his age in Brighton, Walter George hadn’t considered Melanie Merton for a wife because he was convinced he’d never have a chance to impress his haughty neighbor. But that was before he understood her better, before he uncovered why she kept friends and suitors alike at bay. The right husband could restore the woman he sees into some semblance of the fun-loving child of his memory, but would Walter stand a chance or become just another unlucky suitor?

Melanie Merton has acquired the unfortunate reputation as Brighton’s coldest woman with an unrestrained and unkind tongue who has also tuned down no less than 12 suitors.  Now that her brother is married, Melanie has turned over the role of Mistress of the House to her new sister-in-law which leaves Melanie without much to do.  What no one seems to understand is Melanie means well with her seemingly unkind remarks – years of repression and conformity to society’s expectations has left her with a critical eye for detail, but without the tact necessary to convey the criticism in a kinder fashion.  As for the parade of rejected suitors, Melanie has a good reason for that too, but only her childhood friend Walter George seems to understand her.

This is a slow-build novel that brings two childhood friends together into a mature, loving relationship. The Miss Mayhem series each feature an unconventional heroine and MISS MERTON’S LAST HOPE is no different.  Melanie has very defined ideas of marriage and children and I actually enjoyed reading about a heroine who did not want children.  Like in any other relationship, this brings significant conflict to Melanie and Walter’s growing love, but they are able to weather the storm and come out together stronger and closer for it.

Melanie and Walter’s love is slow to develop and Walter realizes he loves Melanie long before she realizes she loves him in return.  But once they finally accept their mutual attraction, there are still obstacles to overcome.  MISS MERTON’S LAST HOPE is a sweet romance with a serious, realistic plot line touching on the reality that not all women long for children of their own.

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Filthy Rich by Virna DePaul

October 27, 2015 Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Filthy Rich by Virna DePaulFilthy Rich by Virna DePaul
Published by Bantam on October 27, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 386
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Cara Michal has had to fight every step of the way to earn her place in the glittering seven-figure world of Wall Street. Years ago her hardworking father, a small-time investment adviser, was humiliated and wrongfully accused of fraud. Now Cara is at the top of her game, trying to support not only herself but her mother and brother. The occasional night out dancing soothes Cara’s soul, even as a bitter need for revenge against the man who destroyed her father makes inner peace elusive.

Then, in a moment of heat, Cara kisses a sexy stranger at a party—only later to discover that the man is Branden Duke, her new boss, an infamous operator with a wicked reputation in bed and on the Street. Branden is a man who seemingly has it all—except a woman who connects with him on a physical and emotional level. Now that he’s found Cara, he’s not sure he can let her go, even if he should.

In spite of herself, Cara is drawn to this charismatic guy. He is a challenge like none she has ever faced in her life. Their passion for each other is unquenchable, surprising them both with its ferocity. Even as Cara wonders if she can trust this man with her heart and soul, the ecstasy of their love cannot be denied. But when the past threatens the present, the two are faced with a truth from which they may never recover.

Cara Michal is one of the hardest working women on Wall Street.  She has to be.  Not only is she a female player in a male-dominated profession, but she must support her mother and brother as well.  And that doesn’t leave room for mistakes.  Then she meets a sexy stranger at a party that seems to pull the rug out from under her.  Especially when Mr. Sexy Stranger turns out to be her new boss.  Their chemistry is undeniable, but Cara simply can’t let anyone jeopardize her career.

I’ve never read anything by Virna DePaul, but I have a feeling this will not be the last book I read by her.  I definitely enjoyed the premise, even if I didn’t really understand a lot of the financial background of the main characters.  The middle…the middle left something to be desired though.  The characters seemed to wander a bit.  For example, Cara was constantly going back and forth with her “I want him, but I can’t have him.  Oh wait, yes I can.  No, I can’t.”  Some waffling is fine, expected even.  But this happened over and over again to the point where I wanted to skip through whole scenes because it was boring and repetitious.

The saving grace – and what makes me want to read more of Ms. DePaul’s books – was the complex characters with interesting backstories as well as the smoking hot sex scenes.  Branden was an atypical alpha – definitely dominant and alluring, but with a caring, sensitive side typically seen more in beta heroes than alphas.  Cara was powerful and independent in her own right.  Together, they make a striking power couple.

Drama, Intrigue, and a dash of suspense coupled with a great romantic plot – definitely check this out!

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